Category Archives: Word

What to do when you don't know what to do? Turn to God and His Word for wisdom and direction.


One answer was clarified – the who will be my boss. The what is in progress – the what will the new charter look like with the updated team structure and org operating model. Thank You Lord for bringing light into the situation so that I could see what used to be hidden. Thank You Lord for being my peace and strength through the times of darkness and lack of clarity. Thank You Lord for allowing Your joy to be my strength.


Would you consider the joining in starting with day 3 of a 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this? What if it meant giving up something for today? What if it meant you had to give them up starting today? Would it have to be significant for you to even consider it? Would it have to be person for you to do it?

Day 8: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 8

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 8 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Ever considered where you came from? What your genealogy is? Who they were? What they were like? Ever reflected on the family tree of Jesus and how God was able to work through it all?
  • Ever noticed the number 14 in the generational lineage of Jesus?
  • Will you remember the past and live out your today in a way pleasing or evil in the eyes of God?
  • When you don’t know what to do will you turn back to God? Will you ask God for wisdom in the very situation you are in?
  • Will you trust God for provision even if you won’t see where it came from?
  • God’s ways aren’t our ways, they are better.
  • Will you remove the evil things in order to bring everyone back to God?
  • Will you trust God? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?
  • Will you be obedient to God’s instruction for you and your life? Will you be a leader who will lead and guide others in alignment with God’s will in order for God’s anointing to overflow into their lives? Will you allow God’s plan and purpose to lead and guide you?
  • Will you depend on the Lord? Will you trust in the Lord?
  • Who are you depending on? Who are you against?
  • Will you choose life or death? Will you choose eternal life or eternal death? Man can cause death but if we aren’t aligned with God and we come to the judgement seat of God and are cast into the eternal death, it is finished. Yet, if we choose eternal life through Jesus Christ, even if we die we will get to live out the rest of eternity with God.
  • Turn to God and understand His instruction rather than fearing the threats of man.
  • Trust in God and allow your faith in Him to overcome fear.
  • Don’t be fooled by the folly of man. Trust in God.
  • Will you follow God and allow your obedience in Him to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will you live a life so that the world will know that the Lord is the only God?
  • Will you allow the fruit of the spirit to flourish and grow from and through your life?
  • We need to walk by faith and not by sight. We need to not allow fear of man to keep us from doing what is good and what is right but rather allow our faith to overcome the fear and walk out God’s instruction so that in and through it all He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

As day 8 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

A time to reflect on our first week of 2020.


Would you consider the joining in starting with day 2 of a 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this? What if it meant giving up something for those 2 days? What if it meant you had to give them up starting today? Would it have to be significant for you to even consider it? Would it have to be person for you to do it?

Day 7: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 7

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 7 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • This devotional is setup for reflection each seventh day.
  • This 7th day gives opportunity to not only reflect but also to share with others
  • Today’s devotional shares with us the following connections from our reading:
    1. Talk with God.
    2. Praise Him for who He is and what He’s like.
    3. (3) Confess any sin.
    4. Thank Him for complete forgiveness through Jesus, for other blessings in your life, for answers to prayer, and for what He has done for you.
    5. Share your worries with Him, and ask Him for what you and others need.
    6. Ask Him for guidance, and place your trust in Him.
  • Reflecting on the past 6 days, I captured not only the last 6 days of posts that I have shared but also the following:
    1. We need to keep track of what God has promised us and how and when they are fulfilled so that we can testify of His greatness and His great love and why we have the hope that is within us.
    2. God’s Word is truthful and will be fulfilled. We need to take hold of His promises with faith, believing what He says is true and living out our lives as living sacrifices in ways that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.
    3. Don’t worry about the change that is taking place. Put my trust in God and walk out my life in humility so that in the proper time He will lift me up. God’s ways are not my ways but His ways are better. He knows what He is doing! He is in control.
    4. Not to worry about how things used to be but instead focus on the good works that God has prepared in advance for me that are yet to be done. Don’t wallow in the good old days of the past and wine about what is taking place now. In the midst of trials consider it pure joy and allow my faith to grow, to persevere to the finish so that in the end I will be complete, mature, and lacking nothing. God has brought me to such a day for such a time as this.
    5. No matter what your past is, God is able to take you right where you are and use you for the glory of His kingdom. We need to do what is right in the Lord’s sight! We need to be living sacrifices that are pleasing in the Lord’s sight!
    6. Do not walk out your today filled with unknown and uncertainty with fear but instead put all your hope and trust in God, allow your faith to overcome fear and for the unknown to become revealed through God’s purpose and plan for He goes in advance preparing for me the good works He has for me to accomplish. His desire is for a legacy that will bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’s name. Live out today with the joy of the Lord as my strength so that in and through it all God will be lifted up and others may come to know Him through my faith and faithfulness.
  • God cares so much that He didn’t stay out there somewhere but instead sent Jesus to the earth to encounter us, to demonstrate for us, and to give Himself for us so that we could be reconciled back to God.
  • God cares so much that He took things into His own hands because there was nothing we would be able to do in our own strength to reconcile us.
  • Jesus gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice once for all unlike the old testament sacrifices that had to be done continuously.
  • Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to come humbly as a baby and die cruelly on the cross for you and for me, demonstrating truth and grace.
  • There is such thing as absolute truth!
  • We may not deserve it but God’s love is so great that He gives it to us – salvation and blessings.

As day 7 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Will you take up the calling put on your life.


Would you consider the 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this?

Day 4: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 4

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 4 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • God has always been. God the Father. God the Son. God the Holy Spirit.
  • God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were apart of creation.
  • God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit brought life.
  • God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit brought light.
  • Even in a dark world, the light cannot be overcome by darkness. Will you let your light shine? Will you lift it up so that its brightness will extend?
  • God sent John to prepare the way for Jesus. God sent John through Elizabeth and Zechariah. God sent Jesus through Mary as the virgin mother with the support of Joseph.
  • God sent John to bring the truth to the people and to testify about the light that was coming who is Jesus so that through him all might believe. John was not the light of the world but rather he came as a witness to the light.
  • Although Jesus is the true light and gives light to everyone, He was in the world and He created the world, yet the world did not recognize Him!
  • To become children of God, we need to receive Jesus.
  • To become children of God, we need to believe in Jesus’s name.
  • To become children of God, we need to be born again, not a natural birth, but being born again as a spiritual birth, born of God.
  • The Word is referring to Jesus and He gave up being in heaven, became flesh humbly through birth as a child in order to make his dwelling among us.
  • Jesus came that we could witness His glory, His glory as the one and only Son of God, who came from the loving Father, that loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would receive everlasting life.
  • Jesus came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
  • Do you realize because people had forgotten or started to feel too comfortable over time, they strayed from God and His will and His way and required a messenger to point them back, like a voice crying out in the wilderness?
  • Do you realize because people had become to proud and self-sufficient over time, they strayed from God and tried to go it their own way?
  • Do you realize that when people stray from God they fail to act wisely or do good?
  • Do you realize that when people stray from God they tend to commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong?
  • But God is love!
  • God’s love reaches to the heavens.
  • God’s faithfulness reaches to the skies.
  • God’s righteousness is like the highest mountains.
  • God’s justice is like the great deep.
  • God preserves both people and animals.
  • God’s faithful love endures forever!
  • God’s faithful love is priceless!
  • We can take refuge in the shadow of His wings
  • We feast on the abundance of God’s house, receiving drinks from His river of delights.
  • Jesus is the fountain of life so that once we have received it we will never again become thirsty.
  • Jesus is the light of the world and He allows us to see the light.
  • God’s love continues to those who know Him.
  • God’s righteousness continues to the upright in heart.
  • Let’s stick close to God so that the proud won’t come against us.
  • Let’s stick close to God so that the wicked won’t drive us away.
  • Don’t lose hope or be focused on the past. Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  • Remember how God’s ways are not our ways but rather that His ways are higher than our ways and His ways are better than our ways. Remember that life happens to bring Him glory for His plans are for good and not for evil!
  • Learn from the past and put all your hope and trust in God!
  • There is a reason and a purpose for what is going on right now!
  • Why not allow God’s Word to be precious to you?
  • Why not listen to God’s Word with expectations?
  • Why not allow God’s Word to fall gently on your ears to give you wisdom and discernment, hope and peace, love and joy?
  • God has given us instructions on how to live life. He even provided a visual and an example through Jesus to help us better understand.
  • Let’s consecrate ourselves as living sacrifices to God!
  • Let’s finish the work that God has given us to accomplish!
  • Let’s do the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish!
  • I am here for such a day and such a time as this, because God has prepared in advance the good works He has for me to accomplish.

Questions to consider:

  • What do you learn about God, about yourself, or about the world?
  • Is there one verse or thought that stands out to you today?

As day 4 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Words how power! How will you use the ones that you get to speak?


The Story of Job. – Day 21

You find yourself in a situation, how will you respond? We can’t control the situations or things that will come our way but the one thing we can control is our response. You find yourself in a situation where someone is suffering or mourning or struggling, what words will you choose to use? You find yourself in a situation where you are being challenged, questioned, or attacked, what words will you choose to use? Will you be able to control your tongue in how you respond? Will you be able to choose to speak life and love and hope and truth? Will you choose words that will tear down and destroy and belittle and stir up anger? We are all faced with choices. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. We are all in situations where we need to use our words. How will you choose to use yours today?


Today’s reading comes from Job 16:

‘Then Job answered and said, “I have heard many such things; Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all. Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind? Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]? I also could speak like you, If you were in my place; I could compose and join words together against you And shake my head at you. [But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth, And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.

“If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved; And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me? But now God has exhausted me. You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household. You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up, It has become a witness [against me]; And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me, It testifies to my face [about my guilt]. His wrath has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with his teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me. They have gaped at me with their mouths, With contempt they have struck me on the cheek; They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me. God hands me over to criminals And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked. I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart, And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target. His arrows surround me. He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy; He pours out my gall on the ground. He attacks me, making wound after wound; He runs at me like a warrior. I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning] And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust. My face is red and swollen with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed], Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands, And my prayer is pure. “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard]. Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven, And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high. My friends are scoffers [who ridicule]; My eye pours out tears to God. Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me] Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend. For when a few years are past, I shall go the way of no return.’

Job 16:1-22

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

In today’s reading we see Job giving another rebuttal to his friends. We see how their words haven’t helped but have hurt Job even more not comforting or healing but hurting and destroying. Job was broken from what had happened to him and his family and yet in the midst of that his friends are of no hope and no help. His friends had come under the pretense of being comforters and even sat and mourned with him quietly for 7 days. Unfortunately after that time they turned on him and tormented him more than they tried to comfort him. We see how our words may start out with the right intention but if or when we turn to bitterness · spite · hate · hatred · resentment · malice · ill will · malevolence · malignancy · animosity · antipathy · enmity · hostility · acrimony · venom · poison · vindictiveness · balefulness · vengefulness · vitriol · virulence · perniciousness · meanness · nastiness · bitchiness · cattiness · maleficence and sarcasm the words start to hurt more than they help. Such words build up frustration in everyone. It becomes a matter of the heart. If the table had been turned we learn how Job wouldn’t have treated them the way they were treating him. We learn how he would have used words that would helped strengthen and comfort them. We can’t assume what the other people are going thru. We can’t assume that we understand what they are going thru because we think we went thru something similar since we don’t really know what they have been thru.

Ever noticed how people respond to things they are passionate about? Ever noticed how people can get angry about things they love? Today’s study puts it this way:

Verses 6-17: It is often the case that a person’s anger reflects his or her love. Believers who get angry with God reveal that they care about Him even though they do not fully understand Him.

(In verses 6-14), Job considered God an “enemy” (verse 9). Job was not alone in struggling this intensely with God. Jacob fought with the Angel of the Lord all night (Gen. 32:24-30); Peter argued with God (Acts 10:9-16). Anger with God can sometimes be a catalyst for spiritual growth. It can mean a person is outgrowing a less mature understanding of God.

Verses 6-9: These poignant thoughts from Job lamented his suffering as severe judgment from God, who had worn him out, withered his strength, and chewed him up by severe scrutiny (“sharpeneth his eyes upon me”).

Verses 12-14: Job refers to God as his “adversary”, who had broken, shaken, shot at, and cleaveth my reins.

Verses 15-20: He had no one to turn to in his sorrow, except God (verse 19), who was silent and had not vindicated him.

Verses 18-21: Job was not crying out for a mediator but for an advocate. He wanted a lawyer who would represent him before God. Here again is the gospel in Job, Jesus is the believer’s advocate at the throne of God (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).

Bible-Study.org Chapter 16

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

What will you believe?


Are you working it out your way or God’s way? Are you trying to hear what you want to hear or to actually receive wisdom? Do you want truth or do you want a story? Who can you trust? How can you make sure you are right with God first? How can you confirm it is from God and it is what you are supposed to do? Do you have others who are believers who affirm/confirm it for you? Do you have others who bring conflicting recommendations? Does the recommendation align to God’s Word? What will you believe when you are given a suggestion or recommendation? Who can you trust?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets us started in 2 Samuel 17:

‘Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.” When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?” “Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are. “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom! Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.” Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there. When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem. Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn. When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb. David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether, an Ishmaelite. His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead. When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”’

2 Samuel 17

‘The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ “Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord , have spoken!’”’

Jeremiah 45

‘The following messages were given to Jeremiah the prophet from the Lord concerning foreign nations. This message concerning Egypt was given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, and his army were defeated beside the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. “Prepare your shields, and advance into battle! Harness the horses, and mount the stallions. Take your positions. Put on your helmets. Sharpen your spears, and prepare your armor. But what do I see? The Egyptian army flees in terror. The bravest of its fighting men run without a backward glance. They are terrorized at every turn,” says the Lord . “The swiftest runners cannot flee; the mightiest warriors cannot escape. By the Euphrates River to the north, they stumble and fall. “Who is this, rising like the Nile at floodtime, overflowing all the land? It is the Egyptian army, overflowing all the land, boasting that it will cover the earth like a flood, destroying cities and their people. Charge, you horses and chariots; attack, you mighty warriors of Egypt! Come, all you allies from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia who are skilled with the shield and bow! For this is the day of the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, a day of vengeance on his enemies. The sword will devour until it is satisfied, yes, until it is drunk with your blood! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will receive a sacrifice today in the north country beside the Euphrates River. “Go up to Gilead to get medicine, O virgin daughter of Egypt! But your many treatments will bring you no healing. The nations have heard of your shame. The earth is filled with your cries of despair. Your mightiest warriors will run into each other and fall down together.” Then the Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah this message about King Nebuchadnezzar’s plans to attack Egypt. “Shout it out in Egypt! Publish it in the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes! Mobilize for battle, for the sword will devour everyone around you. Why have your warriors fallen? They cannot stand, for the Lord has knocked them down. They stumble and fall over each other and say among themselves, ‘Come, let’s go back to our people, to the land of our birth. Let’s get away from the sword of the enemy!’ There they will say, ‘Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is a loudmouth who missed his opportunity!’ “As surely as I live,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “one is coming against Egypt who is as tall as Mount Tabor, or as Mount Carmel by the sea! Pack up! Get ready to leave for exile, you citizens of Egypt! The city of Memphis will be destroyed, without a single inhabitant. Egypt is as sleek as a beautiful heifer, but a horsefly from the north is on its way! Egypt’s mercenaries have become like fattened calves. They, too, will turn and run, for it is a day of great disaster for Egypt, a time of great punishment. Egypt flees, silent as a serpent gliding away. The invading army marches in; they come against her with axes like woodsmen. They will cut down her people like trees,” says the Lord , “for they are more numerous than locusts. Egypt will be humiliated; she will be handed over to people from the north.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes, and all the other gods of Egypt. I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him. I will hand them over to those who want them killed—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the Lord , have spoken! “But do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. For I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children will return from their exile. Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet, and no one will terrorize them. Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” says the Lord . “I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you, but with justice; I cannot let you go unpunished.”’

Jeremiah 46

‘But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.” So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.’

Luke 22:47-62

‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’

2 Timothy 1:1-7

‘O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord , about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God. The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river! Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men. But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns. Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan. For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams. He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them. He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts. He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet. He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels. He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague. He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt. But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness. He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies. He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them. He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes. But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws. They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols. When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel. Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people. He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession. Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs. Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths. Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor. He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame. But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved. There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth. He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.’

Psalms 78

Are you good to your word?


If you make a promise will you fulfill it? If you make a pledge will you complete it? Can people trust what you say? Can people trust that you will come thru? When you make a promise is it based on your character? Do your circumstances change your behavior or response? Are you good to your word? Are you trustworthy? Will your response show integrity? Will your response show truth? Will your response show love? Will your response show humility? Are you good to your word?

Ever considered how long it might take to shape and mold you to be the humble and good leader God needs and wants you to be? Ever considered the trust that has been built up with God through all the life experiences? Will you turn to Him even when the scenario seems the same? God is good to His word! Will you be good to yours? Don’t be hesitant to do what is right! Don’t go back and go against the words and promises!

Will you be a good steward? Will you do what is good and just so that your actions will be rewarded? Will you use what you have been given well? Let’s motivate one another with love to do what is good, what is right, what is just, what we have promised.

Today’s reading gets us started in 2 Samuel 4 from God’s Word…

‘When Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, heard about Abner’s death at Hebron, he lost all courage, and all Israel became paralyzed with fear. Now there were two brothers, Baanah and Recab, who were captains of Ishbosheth’s raiding parties. They were sons of Rimmon, a member of the tribe of Benjamin who lived in Beeroth. The town of Beeroth is now part of Benjamin’s territory because the original people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim, where they still live as foreigners. (Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was crippled as a child. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled.) One day Recab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth, went to Ishbosheth’s house around noon as he was taking his midday rest. The doorkeeper, who had been sifting wheat, became drowsy and fell asleep. So Recab and Baanah slipped past her. They went into the house and found Ishbosheth sleeping on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head. Then, taking his head with them, they fled across the Jordan Valley through the night. When they arrived at Hebron, they presented Ishbosheth’s head to David. “Look!” they exclaimed to the king. “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you. Today the Lord has given my lord the king revenge on Saul and his entire family!” But David said to Recab and Baanah, “The Lord , who saves me from all my enemies, is my witness. Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ thinking he was bringing me good news. But I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his news! How much more should I reward evil men who have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed? Shouldn’t I hold you responsible for his blood and rid the earth of you?” So David ordered his young men to kill them, and they did. They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies beside the pool in Hebron. Then they took Ishbosheth’s head and buried it in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.’

2 Samuel 4

‘Then all the tribes of Israel went to David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be Israel’s leader.’” So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in all. He had reigned over Judah from Hebron for seven years and six months, and from Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years. David then led his men to Jerusalem to fight against the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land who were living there. The Jebusites taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here! Even the blind and lame could keep you out!” For the Jebusites thought they were safe. But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David. On the day of the attack, David said to his troops, “I hate those ‘lame’ and ‘blind’ Jebusites. Whoever attacks them should strike by going into the city through the water tunnel. ” That is the origin of the saying, “The blind and the lame may not enter the house.” So David made the fortress his home, and he called it the City of David. He extended the city, starting at the supporting terraces and working inward. And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him. Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built David a palace. And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more concubines and wives, and they had more sons and daughters. These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he went into the stronghold. The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the Lord , “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his men confiscated them. But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.’

2 Samuel 5

‘King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the Lord : “Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. Then you will be exiled to Babylon. “‘But listen to this promise from the Lord , O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the Lord says: You will not be killed in war but will die peacefully. People will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, crying, “Alas, our master is dead!” This I have decreed, says the Lord .’” So Jeremiah the prophet delivered the message to King Zedekiah of Judah. At this time the Babylonian army was besieging Jerusalem, Lachish, and Azekah—the only fortified cities of Judah not yet captured. This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people, proclaiming freedom for the slaves. He had ordered all the people to free their Hebrew slaves—both men and women. No one was to keep a fellow Judean in bondage. The officials and all the people had obeyed the king’s command, but later they changed their minds. They took back the men and women they had freed, forcing them to be slaves again. So the Lord gave them this message through Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors long ago when I rescued them from their slavery in Egypt. I told them that every Hebrew slave must be freed after serving six years. But your ancestors paid no attention to me. Recently you repented and did what was right, following my command. You freed your slaves and made a solemn covenant with me in the Temple that bears my name. But now you have shrugged off your oath and defiled my name by taking back the men and women you had freed, forcing them to be slaves once again. “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: Since you have not obeyed me by setting your countrymen free, I will set you free to be destroyed by war, disease, and famine. You will be an object of horror to all the nations of the earth. Because you have broken the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you walked between its halves to solemnize your vows. Yes, I will cut you apart, whether you are officials of Judah or Jerusalem, court officials, priests, or common people—for you have broken your oath. I will give you to your enemies, and they will kill you. Your bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals. “I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials to the army of the king of Babylon. And although they have left Jerusalem for a while, I will call the Babylonian armies back again. They will fight against this city and will capture it and burn it down. I will see to it that all the towns of Judah are destroyed, with no one living there.”’

Jeremiah 34

‘The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’ “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’ “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’ “‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’ “But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’ “‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ “Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ “‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’ “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’”’

Luke 19:11-27

‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.’

Hebrews 10:19-25

‘May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us. Interlude May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world. Interlude May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.’

Psalms 67

What are you doing? Don’t you remember?


Consider the words you are using. Why are you using such words? Don’t you remember what was told on how to use your words? Consider your actions. Why are you acting that way? Don’t you remember what was told on how to act? What is your motivation for such things? What is your purpose for such things? What is your reason for such things?

Do you remember the wisdom of Proverbs 18:21?

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

Do you remember the wisdom of James 3:5-6?

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

–James 3:5-6–

What about your actions, do you remember what Matthew 7:1-6 says?

1“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

–Matthew 7:1-6–

Do you remember the wisdom of Colossians 3:17?

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father

–Colossians 3:17–

So consider what you are doing. Consider not only the what but the how and the why. Remember to promises and purposes of God. Don’t forget and stray. Draw closer to God and walk out the rest of your life with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, instruct you and comfort you.


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from:


We need to consider the history we receive and learn from in Judges. We need to take hold of the promises of Jesus through Isaiah. Take hold of the testimony about Jesus and John in Luke. Take hold of God’s grace shared through Paul in 1 Timothy 1. Let’s respond in accordance to the wisdom from Psalms 20.

Is your word good enough?


Do you need to make a vow or is your word good enough? Do you need to sign a contract or is your word good enough? What do you think of when it comes to integrity? What do you think of when it comes to commitment? What do you think of when it comes to truth? Is your word good enough that others can trust you? Is your word good enough that others can depend on you? Is your word good enough that your yes is yes and your no is no? How good is your word? Is your word good enough?

Do you realize that words have power? Do you realize that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path? Do you realize that God’s Word is true! Do you realize that God’s Word is our offensive weapon against the devil? It is like a sword!


Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 30.

‘Then Moses summoned the leaders of the tribes of Israel and told them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: A man who makes a vow to the Lord or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do. “If a young woman makes a vow to the Lord or a pledge under oath while she is still living at her father’s home, and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lord will forgive her because her father would not let her fulfill them. “Now suppose a young woman makes a vow or binds herself with an impulsive pledge and later marries. If her husband learns of her vow or pledge and does not object on the day he hears of it, her vows and pledges will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept her vow or impulsive pledge on the day he hears of it, he nullifies her commitments, and the Lord will forgive her. If, however, a woman is a widow or is divorced, she must fulfill all her vows and pledges. “But suppose a woman is married and living in her husband’s home when she makes a vow or binds herself with a pledge. If her husband hears of it and does not object to it, her vow or pledge will stand. But if her husband refuses to accept it on the day he hears of it, her vow or pledge will be nullified, and the Lord will forgive her. So her husband may either confirm or nullify any vows or pledges she makes to deny herself. But if he does not object on the day he hears of it, then he is agreeing to all her vows and pledges. If he waits more than a day and then tries to nullify a vow or pledge, he will be punished for her guilt.” These are the regulations the Lord gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and a young daughter who still lives at home.’

Numbers 30

Today’s reading continues into Hosea 8.

‘“Sound the alarm! The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord , for they have broken my covenant and revolted against my law. Now Israel pleads with me, ‘Help us, for you are our God!’ But it is too late. The people of Israel have rejected what is good, and now their enemies will chase after them. The people have appointed kings without my consent, and princes without my approval. By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold, they have brought about their own destruction. “O Samaria, I reject this calf— this idol you have made. My fury burns against you. How long will you be incapable of innocence? This calf you worship, O Israel, was crafted by your own hands! It is not God! Therefore, it must be smashed to bits. “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind. The stalks of grain wither and produce nothing to eat. And even if there is any grain, foreigners will eat it. The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot. Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves— sold themselves to many lovers. But though they have sold themselves to many allies, I will now gather them together for judgment. Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king. “Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning! Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them. The people love to offer sacrifices to me, feasting on the meat, but I do not accept their sacrifices. I will hold my people accountable for their sins, and I will punish them. They will return to Egypt. Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities and will burn up their fortresses.”’

Hosea 8

Today’s reading next brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 10.

‘“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel. “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.’

Matthew 10:16-33

Today’s reading then takes us into Romans 8.

‘So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.’

Romans 8:1-11

Today is a new beginning with new responsibilities. Today is a new beginning with the need for vision. Today is a new beginning with the need to be not only a good steward but also a good shepherd. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to know how to proceed. Today requires drawing closer to God in order to be sensitive to His prompting and direction. To God there are no surprises and so today I stop to listen to what the Holy Spirit will tell me and walk it out in a way that I hope to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalm 119.

‘Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord . Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord ; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. Don’t let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.’

Psalms 119:1-24

ISRAELI WRITER SHMUEL YOSEF AGNON…(The Bible’s Impact on Literature [August 5])


Ever been rejected? Ever been sent away? Ever been redeemed? Ever been restored? Ever seen a situation turned over on its head? Ever been in a situation where the people who rejected and redeemed you came to you wanting you back? Will you choose to do the right thing? Will you choose to do the honorable thing? Will you choose to be salt and light throughout your life? Will you allow your life to be a testimony, an example for others to see all that God is doing and has done in and through your life? Will you allow people to see your faith in God?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Today’s reading comes to us from Judges 11

Jephthah Delivers Israel

1Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. 2And Gilead’s wife also bore him sons. And when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You shall not have an inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” 3Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless fellows collected around Jephthah and went out with him.
4After a time the Ammonites made war against Israel. 5And when the Ammonites made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to bring Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6And they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the Ammonites.” 7But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” 8And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “That is why we have turned to you now, that you may go with us and fight against the Ammonites and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.” 9Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight against the Ammonites, and the Lord gives them over to me, I will be your head.” 10And the elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lordwill be witness between us, if we do not do as you say.” 11So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them. And Jephthah spoke all his words before the Lord at Mizpah.
12Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites and said, “What do you have against me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?” 13And the king of the Ammonites answered the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel on coming up from Egypt took away my land, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and to the Jordan; now therefore restore it peaceably.” 14Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites 15and said to him, “Thus says Jephthah: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites, 16but when they came up from Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17Israel then sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Please let us pass through your land,’ but the king of Edom would not listen. And they sent also to the king of Moab, but he would not consent. So Israel remained at Kadesh.
18″Then they journeyed through the wilderness and went around the land of Edom and the land of Moab and arrived on the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon. But they did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. 19Israel then sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon, and Israel said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land to our country,’ 20but Sihon did not trust Israel to pass through his territory, so Sihon gathered all his people together and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel. 21And the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. 22And they took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23So then the Lord, the God of Israel, dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel; and are you to take possession of them? 24Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all that the Lordour God has dispossessed before us, we will possess. 25Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend against Israel, or did he ever go to war with them? 26While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time? 27I therefore have not sinned against you, and you do me wrong by making war on me. The Lord, the Judge, decide this day between the people of Israel and the people of Ammon.” 28But the king of the Ammonites did not listen to the words of Jephthah that he sent to him.

Jephthah’s Tragic Vow

29Then the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” 32So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord gave them into his hand. 33And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.
34Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.” 36And she said to him, “My father, you have opened your mouth to the Lord; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the Lord has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites.” 37So she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions.” 38So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. 39And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel 40that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.

Judges 11

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on literature brings us the topic of Israeli writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon and the impact of Judges and the Bible in captivating him with the vivid stories. We learn how in English people know him as S. Y. Agnon where as in Hebrew he is known as Shai Agnon. We learn how he was a pioneer of modern Hebrew literature. We learn how he give the Bible credit for helping him know how to be a writer. We learn about his style of writing, a mixture of fantasy and reality, filled with biblical allusions. We learn about his 1953 novel, “To This Day.” Set in Germany during World War I. He reflects the book of Judges in which Jephthah’s daughter is sacrificed after her father’s military victory. They share in today’s devotional a quote from the book that mirrors our reading from Judges 11:

I dreamt that a great war had come upon the world, and they called me up to fight. I swore a solemn vow to God that if I returned from the war unharmed, whoever came out of my house to greet me when I returned I would offer up as a sacrifice. I returned to my house unharmed, and it was I myself who came out to greet me.

–from To This Day

So how will you choose to live out your life? How will you approach God? How will you respond to the trials and troubles in this life? In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! Will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and letting perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.


Heavenly Father,
I know that Your plans for me are good. I know that I need to let my yes be yes and my no be no rather than making up vows. Help me today to live out this day in a way that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.

 

 

The power of words…


Words have power! We need to choose our words wisely because they will have impact! How will you choose to use words when you need to use them today? They have the power to build up and to tear down! Will you use them to build people up? Will you use them to tear strongholds down? How will you fill up your heart? Will you invite Jesus in to help get things cleaned up? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks so we need to make sure we are filled up with good things in our hearts! Will you try to live a life where your words will glorify God? Why not make today be about speaking the Word of God to encourage one another? Do you realize the power of the words being used by the people around you? Do you ever find people apologizing for words they use in front of you? Do they do it for everyone or just you? Will you challenge and encourage one another in order to strengthen, encourage, and build up one another in love? Consider your words! Consider the impact they could have in the very situation you find yourself! Consider “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Do you realize that sometimes keeping quiet is the right answer? Do you realize that sometimes they are processing something and not really wanting you to solve it for them? Seek wisdom in every situation! Pray without ceasing getting wisdom from the Holy Spirit so that you will know not only what to say but also if you should just stay quiet. There are good and bad words! There are words that build up and words that destroy! There are words to lift up and words that strike down! So we need to be purposeful in the words that we use and choose to speak!


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. — Ephesians 4:29

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. — Proverbs 18:21

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, — Matthew 12:36

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. — Colossians 4:6

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, … — Ephesians 4:11-16

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. — 1 Corinthians 14:26

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. — Proverbs 12:18

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. — Psalm 19:14

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. — James 1:26

Therefore encourage one another with these words. — 1 Thessalonians 4:18

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. — Colossians 3:8

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. — Ephesians 5:4

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. … — 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. — Proverbs 25:11

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. — Proverbs 16:24

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. — Proverbs 10:19

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! — Psalm 141:3

Don’t go it alone! God gave us His Word so that we wouldn’t be without a manual for this life! Turn to God! Turn to His Word for wisdom! Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! God’s Word is a love letter from our heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional speaks to words in the following three ways:

  • First, it is used in the sense of our words. The things we say can be good or bad (Proverbs 25:11–20).
  • Second, it is also used in the sense of the Word of God. This is supremely Jesus Christ (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2), but also refers to the Word of God in the Scriptures and in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 4:1–16).
  • Third, the Bible also uses the phrase ‘word of the Lord’ in the sense of prophecy (Jeremiah 42:7). God continues to speak to the church through prophetic messages (1 Timothy 4:14). Of course we need to distinguish the Old Testament prophets, whose ‘words’ were definitely ‘the word of the Lord’ and are now part of Scripture, from prophetic ‘words’ today, which need testing against Scripture.

–from Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017


Words, the Word of God and ‘words’

Day 292: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Use your words to good effect … Proverbs 25:11-20
  2. Devote yourself to the Word of God … 1 Timothy 4:1-16
  3. Listen carefully to the ‘words’ of the prophets … Jeremiah 40:7-42:22

Today’s reading comes from God’s Word…

Words are powerful…how will you yours?


Do you realize it is important to know when to speak and when to remain silent? Do you realize it is important to use your words wisely? Do you realize the power of your words? Do you realize that words spoken and unspoken have purpose? Did you speak to build up? Did you remain silent? What was the heart reason for speaking up or remaining quiet? Will you use your words to build up? Will you use your words to tear down? Will you use them to build up and heal people? Will you use them to tear down strongholds and attacks of the devil?

Let’s consider some Bible verses that speak to this topic…

Ephesians 4:29 — Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 — Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Romans 14:19 — So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Proverbs 18:21 — Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Matthew 12:36 — I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Hebrews 10:25 — Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Colossians 4:6 — Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Ephesians 4:11-16 — And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, …

1 Corinthians 14:26 — What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

1 Corinthians 10:23 — “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Luke 6:45 — The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Proverbs 12:18 — There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Psalm 19:14 — Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 5:13 — Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

James 1:26 — If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

Hebrews 10:24-25 — And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 3:13 — But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 — Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:8 — But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Ephesians 5:4 — Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Ephesians 4:1-32 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …

1 Corinthians 15:33 — Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 — Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. …

1 Corinthians 8:1 — Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

Romans 15:4 — For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:1-11 — We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, …

Acts 20:32 — And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

John 3:16-17 — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Matthew 7:1 — “Judge not, that you be not judged.

Matthew 5:44 — But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Matthew 4:3 — And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Zechariah 7:1-14 — In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the Lord, saying to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? …

Isaiah 3:1-26 — For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. …

Proverbs 31:10 — An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Proverbs 27:17 — Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 25:11 — A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Proverbs 21:23 — Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 16:24 — Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 10:19 — When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Psalm 141:3 — Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Ever considered famous words spoken that turned situations around? Winston Churchill’s speech (and their finest hour speech)? Abraham Lincoln’s speech? Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech? Theodore Roosevelt’s speechJohn F. Kennedy’s speech? Ronald Reagan’s speech? William Wilberforce’s speech? and so many more…

Ever considered Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost?

Ever noticed how as far as we have come some messages still resonate and still seem applicable to the world we live in today?

Ever noticed the impact the words spoken had on the situation and in some cases the world? on the outcome of wars? on suffering? on human rights?

We need to find a way to control our tongue so that we don’t let it lash out and cause collateral damage to the people around us. We need to realize that our words do have power!

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

–from James 3


Your Words Are Powerful

Day 192: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 16:28-33, Proverbs 17:1-4, Acts 28:17-31, 2 Kings 21, 2 Kings 22

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/192

  1. Power to bring peace … Proverbs 16:28-17:4
  2. Power to convince and convert … Acts 28:17-31
  3. Power to change a nation … 2 Kings 21:1-22:20
    • Power of the written word
    • Power of the spoken word

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for Your Word and that it never returns void! Grant us wisdom today in how we will use our words in ways that will glorify and lift you up! Help us Lord that our words will be for Your glory! Help us Lord that our words will heal and build up and restore! Help us Lord to avoid speaking or writing words that will hurt others and turn them from you. Help our words be words that point people to You for the glory of Your kingdom in Jesus’ name. I ask all this so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What are you investing in?


Are you investing in something that will last? Are you investing in something that is trustworthy? Are you investing in something that has a good return? Are your investments a sign of good stewardship? Are your investments into things that will last? Are you investments into the right areas?

Investments…what does that mean to you? Time? Money? Effort? People? Property? Stocks? Stuff?

where-will-you-invest-and-spend-effort-time-money

Are you investing in things that will last forever? An example of such an investment is to invest in people – eternal souls. Are you investing in things that will glorify God? An example of such an investment is to be salt and light to the world around you. Another example is to walk in love. Another example is to be sharing the fruits of the spirit. Are you investing in things that will make a difference? Are you building a legacy?

How are you investing your time, energy, and money? 


Today’s reading brings us into Isaiah again which triggered the above questions…ponder them as you read through today’s reading and see what God has to say to you…

No Profit in Casting Idols

1“But now listen, Jacob My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.” 2Thus says Adonai who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you: “Do not fear, Jacob My servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants. 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. 5This one will say, ‘I am Adonai’s.’ That one will be called by the name Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘Adonai’s’ and will take the name Israel.”

First and Last

6Thus says Adonai, Israel’s King and his Redeemer, Adonai-Tzva’ot: “I am the first, and the last, and there is no God beside Me. 7Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and announce it! Let him arrange it in order for Me— as I established the ancient nation. Let them declare to them what is coming and future events. 8Do not dread or be afraid. Have I not told you and declared it long ago? So you are My witnesses! Is there any God beside Me? Is there any other Rock? I know of none.

Folly of Idols

9Those who fashion idols are empty. Their precious things do not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10Who fashions a god or casts an idol for no profit? 11Behold, all his friends will be ashamed, for the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble. Let them stand up. Let them dread. Let them be put to shame together. 12The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. Yet when he is hungry, his strength fails. When he drinks no water, he gets tired. 13A carpenter stretches out a line; he marks it with a pencil; he shapes it with planes; he marks it with a compass; he shapes it like the figure of a man —like the beauty of a man— so that it may sit in a shrine. 14He chops down cedars for himself, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine and rain nourishes it. 15Then it is something for a man to burn. so he takes one of them and warms himself. He also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an idol and bows before it. 16He burns half of it in the fire. With this half, he eats meat. He roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17Yet with the rest he makes a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships. He even prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” 18They do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. 19No one reflects in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire and I also baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate—and then I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I bow before a block of wood?” 20He is feeding on ashes. A deceived heart has led him astray, so he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Isn’t what is in my right hand a fraud?” 21Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I formed you, you are My servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! 22I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23Sing, O heavens, for Adonai has done it! Shout, depths of the earth! Break forth into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it! For Adonai has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified through Israel. 24Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am Adonai, Maker of all things, stretching out the heavens alone, spreading the earth abroad by Myself, 25causing the omens of boasters to fail, making fools of diviners, turning wise men backward and making their knowledge foolish, 26while confirming the word of His servant, fulfilling the counsel of His messengers, saying of Jerusalem, “She will be lived in” and of the cities of Judah, “They will be built, and I will raise up their ruins,” 27while saying to the deep, “Be dry, I will dry up your rivers,” 28while saying of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, and he shall fulfill all My purpose” while saying to Jerusalem, “You will be built” and to the Temple, “Your foundation will be laid.”

–from Isaiah 44

God knows your name! God knows your every thought! God sees each tear that falls! God hears you when you call! God created you on purpose with purpose for a purpose! So let’s be good stewards of all we have – time, money, effort. Let’s use it to glorify God and point others to Him! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who have yet to meet Jesus! Let’s allow the Spirit to work in and thru us for to glory of God! Let’s be strengthen by the Lord to do the work He has prepared in advance for us to do! Let’s keep our eyes on God and the work He has for us to do today! How will we invest our time? Will it make a difference to the people around us? Will their lives be impacted because we are there?

Cyrus the Anointed

1Thus says Adonai to His anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him, to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him so that gates may not be shut. 2I will go before you and make crooked places straight. I will shatter bronze doors and cut through iron bars. 3I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, so you may know that I am Adonai, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by name, I have given you a title of honor, though you have not known Me. 5I am Adonai—there is no other. Besides Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known Me, 6so they may know, from the rising to the setting of the sun, that there is no one besides Me. I am Adonai—there is no other. 7I form light and create darkness. I make shalom and create calamity. I, Adonai, do all these things. 8“Rain down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down justice. Let the earth open up, let salvation sprout, and righteousness spring up with it. I, Adonai, have created it.” 9Oy , to one who quarrels with his Maker, like a pot among the pots of the earth! Shall the clay say to the potter, “What have you made?” Or does your work say, “It has no handles”? 10Oy , to him who says to his father, “What have you begotten?” Or to a woman, “What have you born?” 11Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, “Ask Me about the things to come upon My children. Then you will commit to Me the work of My hands. 12I made the earth and created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens and I commanded all their host. 13“I stirred Cyrus up in righteousness and I will level all his roads. He will build My city and set My exiles free, with no price or bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. 14Thus says Adonai: “Egypt’s toil, Ethiopia’s merchandise, and the tall Sabeans will come over to you and be yours. They will walk behind you in chains. They will bow down to you, and pray, saying, ‘Surely God is with you!’ There is none else— no other God!”

Mystery of Creation

15Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16All of them will be ashamed, disgraced— idol-makers go in dishonor together. 17Israel has been saved by Adonai with an everlasting salvation. You will not be put to shame or disgraced, for ever and ever. 18For thus says Adonai— He is God who fashioned the heavens, who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it desolate but formed it to be inhabited— “I am Adonai—there is no other!” 19“I have not spoken in secret, in a place of a land of darkness. I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in desolation.’ I, Adonai, speak righteousness, declaring uprightly.”

No Other God and Savior

20“Assemble yourselves and come, draw near together, fugitives of the nations! Those who carry their wooden idols have no knowledge, praying to a god who cannot save. 21Declare and present your case, Indeed, let them consult together. Who foretold this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Is it not I, Adonai? There is no other God beside Me —a righteous God and a Savior— there is none besides Me! 22Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God—there is no other. 23By Myself I have sworn— the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and is irrevocable: that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. 24They will say of Me, ‘Only in Adonai is righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25In Adonai all the seed of Israel will be justified and give praise.”

–from Isaiah 45

Ask the Spirit to fill you up. Ask the Spirit to give you divine appointments today. Ask the Spirit to give you words of encouragement, words of instruction, words of direction so that you can invest into everyone God brings across your path today. Ask the Spirit to give you eyes to see beyond the surface. Ask the Spirit to give you ears to be sensitive to what is really going on so that you can hear it. Ask the Spirit to help you be bold and courageous to not only hear what is being said, but to be able to speak the words He gives you to speak as He did with Peter.

The Ruach Fills the Disciples

1When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out. 5Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans? 8How is it that we each hear our own birth language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome 11(both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!” 12And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?” 13Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”

Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd

14But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day! 16But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes. 21And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’ 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed. 24But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it. 25For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope, 27because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day. 30So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay. 32“This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses! 33Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36“Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”

Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.” 40With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” 41So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins

42They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. 43Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries. 44And all who believed were together, having everything in common. 45They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. 46Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.

–from Acts 2

Have you already received Jesus? Have you already asked Jesus for forgiveness and turned back to God? Have you already been baptized in the name of Jesus?

What’s holding you back? It’s worth the investment!

Let’s be looking for the opportunity because God’s Word doesn’t return void and to this very day there are people being saved! How will you be investing into the lives who have received Him? How will you be investing into the lives who are yet to receive Him?